13th March. - 17th April 2002


Our chase vessels at work: Outside Mauretania there is an upwelling area.  Whales, dolphins, different kinds of sea birds and fishermenmaybe women also, from Spain and Russia and us were there to get fed in one way or another.  The wind was constantly blowing from the North and the swell came from the same direction.  When in the workboat there was really no need to use the compass, we only needed to look at the swell.  Even though most of the fishing vessels had an understanding of where we were shooting our lines and be aware of where their fishing gear was, there were still newer vessels coming in to the area all the time, making it very important for the chase vessels Linda C, Skude Pioneer and Geco-Scorpio (changed with Skude Pioneer) to keep some fishing vessels away from our cables.  Neither we or the fishing vessels were interested in getting fishing gear caught on our streamers, ruining their and our gear.


Cable work: After getting this important person onboard from the Skude Pioneer, it was found  that the troubles that we had could be caused by too long ranges for the positioning systems.  In this kind of waters with layers of salt and possibly sand and plankton we would have to reconfigure our 8 streamers so that the ranges between each streamer would be shorter.  This though created another problem, so that we had to get another important guy onboard for dealing with overlapping ranges in the software.  But first we had a major meeting before the reconfiguring since we had to swap streamer 7 and 8 and 3 and 4 to make our reconfiguring job a little lighter.  We were meant to do all the other swaps in the workboat (60?), but the weather turned bad again and we had to do it all from the back deck which totally took us 4 days.


Back in shooting mode: Positioning engineers were happy and so were we until we spotted an error in the data which was found to be appearing very randomly on streamers with a certain range-node software configuration.  We ran test lines to prove that we had found what had caused the errors and that we could switch the problem on and off.  We looked through every single shot for every single streamer for those test lines during that night and sent them off to our office staff which needed them for dealing with our client.  The talks ashore did work to some extend and we got more important people onboard.  Two of our crew stayed on the Geco-Scorpio those 2-3 days due to the lack of cabins available.


Happy mode: Our new data was found to be good, but even when everything is working fine there still are jobs to do in the sea.

Hockey and crew change: We played hockey about 3 times a week.  The weather was much nicer when the vessel was heading South away from the weather, but Northbound lines could be ok as well and sometimes it was nice with a breeze.  Our first drill we put the survival suits on, we all look very funny in them since they are all too big.  At crew change we were changed out via the Geco-Scorpio.  The weather was a bit rough during the morning as usual, but it came down around 1PM.  The Captain is in the bow of the last mob boat from the Topaz, the chief officer of crew 1 is coxswain.